One of the largest media in Russia, Kommersant, citing sources in the Russian banking sector, published an article stating that online stores from the United States and European countries decided not to serve Russian citizens and began to issue orders to block those UnionPay cards, which are released in Russia.
Earlier, Russian banks began mass-issuing UnionPay cards, as it was assumed that the Chinese payment system was supposed to replace Visa and Mastercard that had left Russia, so the demand for cards with UnionPay is still booming in Russia.
The volume of issuance of UnionPay cards in Russia in recent months has increased 10 times to 500,000 pieces, while a large number of them are virtual cards that are designed to pay for goods and services on the Internet.
But Russian citizens in social networks and on specialized forums complain that the UnionPay card does not always fulfill its tasks: it often fails to pay for goods on the Internet. Banks do not advertise the existence of a problem, but call centers did not hide the fact that the impossibility of payment is a common phenomenon, while Russian banks issuing UnionPay did not respond to official requests.
According to Russian banks, the problem lies with foreign online stores that simply decided not to serve Russians. Such players instruct acquiring banks not to make payments on cards issued in Russia, regardless of the payment system, one of the sources explained.
Instead of figuring out whether the bank that issued the card is under sanctions or not, stores in the United States and Western Europe simply prefer to block the entire country, but according to the rules of payment systems, acquiring banks do not have the right to discriminate against the card by the country of issue.
UnionPay itself could have influenced the situation, experts believe, but the Chinese company did not respond to a request from the largest media of Russia.